Motorsport UK has created a new motorsports 'fan club' to try and spread the message amongst non-believers and attract new folk to the sport while providing existing fans with the chance to get a bit more involved and closer to the action. This idea marks another new step for the new-look governing body. Hopefully it's only a start.
Pre-event choreographed autograph sessions are all very well, but fans and followers these days want more. They want to see their heroes up close and to hear from them first hand. So the news that this new initiative will include ‘Evening With’ events must be welcome.
It brings to mind those Rally Forums of old that were once an integral part of rallying before the arrival of 'social media' when rally stars would gather as a panel to be interviewed and questioned in an auditorium, be it a car showroom or a pub lounge ahead of rallies or at club nights.
Some of these events were quite raucous, depending on guests and hosts, but always good fun. Mind you these were staged in the days of 'non-PR speak' and the politically incorrect when drivers and co-drivers spoke their mind amongst friends away from the prying eyes of team managers and sponsors PRs.
Remember the rollicking good nights with the Rothmans Rally Team in main Ford dealer Wylie's of Glasgow ahead of the Scottish Rally? And those who couldn't get in watching through the showroom windows on the pavement or the 'Flying Tee-Shirts' in the Aros Hall in Tobermory on Mull? And what of the rally nights in the Ladbroke Hotel before the Snowman and the bunfights before the Granite in the Skean Dhu at Aberdeen, and of course the pre-McRae Rally nights in Perth and Aberfeldy? Aye, them were't days, eh?
Or were they? Was such entertainment just a product of its time? Is it relevant now? Would folk come and watch and listen? Or are we all glued to those small palm sized screens in our hand? Time for Motorsport UK to find out, eh? For sure we need to do something.
The full release is here: